A RABBI blamed for not stopping the sexual abuse of at least 10 students who were molested under his watch has stood down from his roles with the Yeshivah Centre.
Senior Chabad figure Abraham Glick last night confirmed he had resigned from four leadership positions within the troubled Yeshivah community.
It followed mounting pressure sparked by his evidence at the child abuse royal commission last week that probed Yeshivah’s handling of sex abuse allegations.
Rabbi Glick, who was the principal of Yeshivah College between 1986 and 2007, is the third high-profile rabbi to stand down in the wake of public hearings.
He said he formally resigned from all leadership positions including as the head of Yeshivah Centre’s spiritual leadership, Vaad Ruchni.
He also resigned as a member of the three Yeshivah Centre Associations.
“I hope that this will bring a measure of comfort to the victims and their families and help them in the healing process,” Rabbi Glick said in a public email.
The move was welcomed by victims.
Last week the royal commission heard Rabbi Glick was told about child sex crimes being perpetrated by staff at Yeshivah as early as 1991 but failed to act.
While the school was under his leadership at least 10 students were molested by teacher David Kramer and security guard David Cyprys.
Cyprys had been allowed to continue working at the school despite pleading guilty to indecent assault in 1992.
Kramer was moved to the US after complaints were made by parents in the early 1990s. Cyprys is in jail and Kramer has been recently released from prison.
Rabbi Glick said that because of the way the school operated, his responsibility to be aware of such issues was “never spelt out”.
“I suppose at some level one could argue that, yes, as principal that was my responsibility,” he said. “If one understands the way Yeshivah actually operated it’s not so clear.”
Rabbi Glick said complaints were handled by former Yeshivah head Rabbi Dovid Groner, who was allegedly told of abuse as early as 1984.
“I can’t say why he didn’t tell me. I think most people would find that (truly incredible) but that’s the fact.
“I’m prepared to say that if he were alive today, I believe he would agree that that was a mistake. A big mistake.”
Rabbi Glick said Rabbi Groner told him about one complaint, when he was no longer principal in 2008.
He said Rabbi Groner had phoned him to ask if he’d heard of an allegation in 2008 after a meeting with a victim’s mother.
But the commission heard the woman died in 1995 so the meeting, and phone call, must have been in the early 1990s.
Rabbi Glick’s resignations follows the resignations of Rabbi Meri Shlomo Kluwgant and Rabbi Yosef Feldman.
Rabbi Kluwgant resigned as president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, from his role with Jewish Care and lost his position on Victoria Police’s Multi-Faith Advisory Committee after labelling the father of a victim a “lunatic”.
Rabbi Feldman resigned from Yeshivah Sydney after claiming he didn’t know it was against the law to touch the genitals of a child. He also backed leniency for reformed paedophiles.
He has since been delisted by Chabad.